Old-school meat-and-three plus breakfast all day, classic country music that would make Hank Williams weep, authentic family dining in historic, beautiful Leiper's Fork, TN. Only 35 minutes from Nashville, Country Boy Restaurant is worth the drive.
Jill and Spencer Pittman were captivated by the ingenuity of intelligent wine dispensers, eventually building a business around the idea at the corner of East Main Street and 2nd Avenue in downtown Franklin. The concept combines the relaxation of an informal wine tasting with the novelty of having a robot as a dinner guest as patrons serve themselves from the mechanized dispensers while a smart card tab keeps track of purchases. The helpful automatons even display information about selected vintages at the drink stations, allowing guests to learn about their favorite beverages and perfectly pair wines with soups, salads, or tapas plates of cheese, charcuterie, and seared seafood.
In an ironic twist, the wine bar hosts parties in the one-time home of a Prohibition-era bootlegger. The National Register of Historic Places house charms visitors with tucked-away wine rooms decked out with leather furniture and a bar adorned with paintings from local artists. As they unwind with glasses of rotating featured wines such as Cakebread Chardonnay and Opus One red blend and succulent morsels of chocolate desserts or cheese, patrons watch the street scenes and take in the open air from the lavish wraparound porch or sway to the strains of jazz amid the dark woods and overstuffed sofas of the wine rooms.
The wine list at 360 Bistro comes with more than 1,000 options, allowing diners to choose from plenty of rich reds and effervescent whites to pair with seasonal plates such as tomato gnocchi with lump crab or sweet-tea-brined pork chops. Owner Nick Jacobson’s efforts to create an outstanding wine program recently paid off with a nod from Wine Spectator, which handed the restaurant the coveted and exclusive Award of Excellence in 2011.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
Satisfying both wine connoisseurs and fledging fermenters alike, Tayst recommends a palate-complementing beverage for each item on Executive Chef Jeremy Barlow's environmentally friendly menu. Barlow, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, won Nashville Scene's 2009 Iron Fork competition and was featured in Fortune for his sustainable dining efforts. Begin by sipping on a glass of cherry-and-berry scented Morgan Pinot Noir ($13.75), or order the PB&J lamb, served with peanut spatzle and a berry compote ($27), paired with the blackberry-hinting Jean Bousquet Reserva Malbec ($15.75). Vegetarians can nosh the veggie entree, a herbaceous amalgamation of grilled yard beans, purple rice, zucchini, and a butter-bean puree ($17), and partner it with the nuanced notes of plum and oak in a glass of Gunn Estate Pinot Noir ($13.75).
The always-active atmosphere at Cabana in Hillsboro Village/West End creates the perfect backdrop for a swanky sampling. For $12, today's side deal gets you two hours of private wine tasting and hors d’œuvres, a $25 value. Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on January 12, you'll have the opportunity to fulfill your new year's resolution of trying new things.
Belcourt Taps celebrates the charms and flavors of the South with regular live music, and gourmet twists on comfort classics. The festivities begin before diners even step through the door. Outside, a sprawling patio surrounds the restaurant, lit up at night with warm sconce lighting and candlelight. There, guests can sample the Belcourt sliders trio, where one Angus patty holds a stack of bacon and blue cheese, one carries duxelles and brie, and the last hefts roasted-tomato-and-onion confit. Diners can also explore tapas and shareable plates of fried green tomatoes and steamed mussels or dive solo into a fried soft-shell crab BLT.
Inside, regular live music showcases the talents of singers and songwriters who carry on the Nashville sound. Golden yellow walls brighten the room, adding the feel of a southwestern cantina or a southwestern cantina owned by a pyromaniac, and soft overhead lighting creates the ideal atmosphere for a draft beer.